Alright, this is weird. First off, this is mintty running on up-to-date cygwin, with git pulled from cygwin's setup.exe. I am running zsh.

$ git clone https://<user>@<domain>/<repository>/ ~/src/project/dev
Initialized empty Git repository in /cygdrive/c/src/project/dev/.git/
Password: <actual password in plain text appears>
# Nothing happens...
$ <password text that I just typed>
zsh: command not found: <same password text>

What is going on here? Is this a terminal problem, a shell problem, a git problem, or a cygwin problem?

Update: Yes, I'm running the Cygwin git version, not the Windows version:

$ which git
$ git --version
git version 1.7.1
$ /cygdrive/c/Program\ Files\ \(x86\)/Git/bin/git.exe --version
git version
  • 1
    I'm guessing a terminal problem. The fact that your password appears suggests that the terminal isn't properly being put into silent mode (where it doesn't show the characters you type), and the fact that the password text appears again after you hit ^C suggests that the characters aren't getting sent to stdin of the git process. But I don't know what the specific problem might be.
    – David Z
    Jun 30, 2010 at 17:09
  • Thanks for the clue - I came across this: code.google.com/p/mintty/issues/detail?id=56 - but there's no way to put git in interactive mode like the python executable...
    – emptyset
    Jun 30, 2010 at 18:09
  • 1
    Are you sure you're invoking Cygwin's version of git? Mintty issue 56 only applies to native Windows programs.
    – ak2
    Jul 1, 2010 at 5:15
  • Did you find a solution to this problem?
    – pauldoo
    Dec 7, 2010 at 12:38

10 Answers 10


OK, I think I've found a definite solution.

The problem is that, regardless of the terminal used (puttycyg, mintty, cmd.exe), Git by default, in the absence of better configured alternatives, tries to use a "simple password prompt" (as you can read in the description of core.askpass config option).

The simple password prompt apparently only works on real UNIX, but not on Cygwin.

The solution is to install an SSH_ASKPASS compatible program for Windows and configure Git to use it.

What I did was:

  1. Install win-ssh-askpass application by unpacking and copying to C:\
  2. Download and install the Borland Delphi 5 runtime required by win-ssh-askpass (hard to come by nowadays, but found one on http://www.satsignal.eu/software/runtime.html)
  3. Configure Git to obtain passwords using win-ssh-askpass: git config --global core.askpass "C:/win_ssh_askpass.exe". Note that the EXE file has underscores in its name, not minus signs.
  4. Remember to always place your login in the URL (https://<user>@<domain>/<repository>). Otherwise, Git will ask for the login before asking for the password, using the same askpass utility. You may unknowingly input your password as the login, which will be sent to the webserwer and logged in its access log as plain text!

Now Git asks for the password using an elegant GUI window and works regardless of the terminal used :)

  • thanks, run randomly, but runs :) I don't know why git don't run as expected. subversion do it fine.
    – corretge
    Feb 20, 2012 at 16:59
  • 1
    I just ran the following and it pops a gui: git config --global core.askpass "git-gui--askpass" clone Feb 24, 2015 at 22:41

I've experienced the same issue - however in my case I am SSH'd in the Cygwin server so obviously a Win32 GUI askpass won't work.

Instead, I wrote this simple script to do the askpass. I though it could be used from regular prompts as well by getting the tty device from /bin/tty.exe but that didn't work for an unknown reason (feel free to tty yourself or look for another solution to get the tty, maybe I just got it wrong somehow).



[ -c "$TTY" -a -r "$TTY" -a -w "$TTY" ] \
  || { echo "Failed to open device \`$TTY'!"; exit 1; }
exec <$TTY

echo -n "$@" >$TTY
read -s P
echo >$TTY

echo $P

Make sure this script is executable and use it as your git's core.askpass setting. Since this script relies on the $SSH_TTY variable it will normally only work from SSH. You could however set $SSH_TTY in .bashrc or .bash_profile if unset; this way it should work even from a console. The following line in your rc script should do it:

[ -z "$SSH_TTY" ] && export SSH_TTY=$(/bin/tty.exe)
  • I can confirm this solution, works very well.
    – schlamar
    Mar 7, 2012 at 13:04
  • This worked pretty well for me too. However, I had to add a redirect (1>&2) on that "Failed to open ..." message in order for it to be visible.
    – Eric
    Apr 3, 2012 at 18:34

It's possible you have a metacharacter, such as &, in the URL. This would cause git to run in the background, and on a Unix system it would be stopped as soon as it tried to read from stdin. A ; would also terminate the command partway through the line, and the Ctrl-C would cause the rest of the line (a separate command) to be aborted.

It's interesting that git initializes the repo in /cygdrive/c/src/project/dev/.git/ even though you told it to use ~/src/project/dev (unless you have your home directory in a strange place). This would suggest that the git command is not seeing the rest of the command line, which is what would happen if there was a stray & or ; in the URL.

(I've had this problem lots of times with wget, although not with git.)

Try a git clone from a different repo, or using a different transport from the same repo, to see if git is messed up generally or just for this repo. You could also try putting single quotes around the URL.

  • ~/src is a symlink to /cygdrive/c/src (C:\src). There's no & in the URL. I'll try to clone a public git repository, but generally those won't have a password...
    – emptyset
    Jul 6, 2010 at 13:58

Take a look at the following issue - I'm fairly certain now it's just a limitation of mintty and interoperability with Windows.

Issue 56 - mintty

I've also had problems running mysql and such from mintty - so, the answer is that it's a terminal emulation problem.


solutions above do not work for me, but I found another one.

you have to run ssh agent

just add to ~/.bashrc and restart console


# start the ssh-agent

function start_agent {

    echo "Initializing new SSH agent..."

    # spawn ssh-agent

    /usr/bin/ssh-agent | sed 's/^echo/#echo/' > "${SSH_ENV}"

    echo succeeded

    chmod 600 "${SSH_ENV}"

    . "${SSH_ENV}" > /dev/null



if [ -f "${SSH_ENV}" ]; then

     . "${SSH_ENV}" > /dev/null

     ps -ef | grep ${SSH_AGENT_PID} | grep ssh-agent$ > /dev/null || {






P.S. Chrome and Opera use linebreak which isn't compatible with bash - just use another browser for copy paste


Question was answered already... I just would like to add how I fixed:

Checking Windows Git Bash, I could see that git set following SSH_ASKPASS


So, on Cygwin, I added same variable to .bashrc

# Unconditionally export SSH_ASKPASS
export SSH_ASKPASS="/mingw64/libexec/git-core/git-gui--askpass"


# export SSH_ASKPASS only if git is installed
hash git 2>/dev/null && export SSH_ASKPASS="/mingw64/libexec/git-core/git-gui--askpass"

Doing this, git opens the SSH_ASKPASS from Git... I did not had to install any additional SW or create any additional script.

Hope this can help!


Years ago I remember having some problems with Cygwin's CVS authentication... it was to do with whether you installed Cygwin with the DOS or Unix style line endings (CRLF vs just LF); it's one of the options on the installer dialog. If you picked the wrong one (I think DOS was the one which worked) the password would end up mangled or with a spurious character or something.

Anyway, might be worth trying the other option.


I have the same problem, and, contrary to this thread, the problem occurs with Cygwin GIT in all possible terminals - puttycyg, mintty and the classical Windows cmd.exe.

I'm still looking for a proper solution, but there's a workaround - although it's very insecure, you can try placing the password in repository URL, e.g.:

git clone https://<user>:<password>@<domain>/<repository>/

Does the workaround work for you?


If it's a repository you use often, the easiest thing may be to create a ~/.netrc file with

machine git.example.com
login yourlogin
password your password

Obviously, you should set appropriately draconian permissions on the file.

  • Why not just use ssh as a transport?
    – vonbrand
    Oct 9, 2015 at 21:55

Just a refinement on comment #2

There's a cygwin ssh-ask-pass (unofficial) here

Just download the tar.bz2 and unpack into your cygwin folder. It works without installing borland delphi runtime.

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